In order to be a successful interviewee, you should be prepared to talk about a variety of topics, including markets, the bank, and yourself.
Know the markets
- Read the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Financial Times, Yahoo Finance, Barron’s, etc. (not all of them of course)
- You should be familiar with major news (e.g. M&A, reforms, Fed related news, etc.)
- Be familiar with financial reform bills (e.g. Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes Oxley, Glass-Steagall, etc.)
- Be able to talk about the financial crisis
- What happened?
- Why it happened?
- How did the financial crisis affect ____ (fill in the blank)
Know the firm
- What’s the firm’s history?
- What values does the firm have?
- Try to find out how the firm is organized
- How many employees?
- How many offices?
- What are the major areas of the firm?
- How is the firm positioned in the market compared to its competitors?
- What does the firm view as its core strengths?
- Size of balance sheet
- Global presence
- Strong M&A advisory
- Know about the firm’s performance this year – revenues, net income, earnings per share, stock price, etc.
Know about yourself
- Start by preparing yourself on five to eight stories from your life that exemplify leadership, pursuit of personal goals, teamwork, conflict, etc.
- Know everything on your resume – you should never look down at your resume during the interview (be able to explain the contents in detail)
- Know your strengths
- Know how to turn your weaknesses into your strengths
- Are you more of a quantitative or a qualitative person?- Be able to explain why
- Know your interests
- Be able to tell a compelling story about your life
- Explain how you got to where you are right now
- Have a good reason for why you want to do investment banking – don’t try to tell the interviewer what you think he/she wants to hear
- Stay genuine and trust you’re a good candidate
- Be concise and compelling
Remember that you are interviewers are people too. Don’t be intimidated by them just because they have the job you want. They want to work with someone that they can get along with. Try not to be an “investment banking robot” that can only talk about the markets. Be outgoing, be personable, and be yourself. Interviewers can tell when a candidate it being genuine, and it goes a long way.